Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Posted by Alan Childress
The DePaul Business and Commercial Law Journal, with the Commercial Law League of America (site is here), has announced its sixth annual symposium: Lawyers, Law Firms, & the Legal Profession: An Ethical View of the Business of Law. It is upcoming on May 1, 2008, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. "Leading experts, timely issues, and CLE credit are just a few of the reasons to come." Topics include Lawyers in a Fee Quandary: Must the Billable Hour Die?, the Roberts Court, Ghosts from old law firms haunting a new firm, and lawyer discipline and professionalism. It will be held at the Westin on Michigan Ave., Chicago. Here is the program announcement: Download symp_article.doc.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Posted by Alan Childress
Here is a link to a public-is-welcome panel in Washington, D.C., of "author meets critics" on Charles Lane's new book The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction. Lane is a reporter at the Washington Post. Sad story out of reconstruction Louisiana that makes Jena seem like the rainbow coalition.
The panel will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tues., March 18, 2008, at George Washington U. Law School (Faculty conference room); it is sponsored by its Institute for Constitutional Studies. Refreshments served!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Posted by Alan Childress
Here is news about a conference on legal ethics, including international issues, in Queensland, Australia this summer (well, winter).
The Third International Legal Ethics Conference will be held on Australia's beautiful Gold Coast on 13-16 July 2008. ... The conference will be designed to cater for both scholars and legal practitioners, with a designated "practitioners’ day" which will include papers, presentations and discussions of particular relevance to practising lawyers.
The conference themes embrace international perspectives, and will provide delegates from Australia and abroad with opportunities to hear and share ideas and arguments that have implications for "lawyering" across jurisdictions.
It is hosted by the TC Beirne School of Law (University of Queensland) and Griffith Law School (Griffith University). Sounds like a great idea for U.S. scholars and lawyers, too. And for the colorful conference brochure: Download legal-ethics-conference-brochure.pdf
Friday, January 18, 2008
Posted by Alan Childress
The D.C. Bar is cosponsoring a mini-conference -- unfortunately with no CLE credit available -- but with a fun cast and interesting topic. The panel talk will be held over a long lunch on Thurs., Jan. 24, 2008 (or by teleconference for those afar). Its blurb is:
Practicing Law in the E-Court of Public Opinion: How the Internet Can Make or Break a Lawyer's or Law Firm's Reputation and What You Can Do about It - WITH DAVID LAT of ABOVE THE LAW and other national speakers!
In the Internet Age, lawyers and firms are subject to unprecedented public scrutiny. Popular websites like Above the Law provides gossip and behind the scenes news from large law firms, while Avvo allows clients to post their opinions about their attorneys. You'll hear how the web can affect lawyers' reputations, for better or for worse, identify ways to respond to threats to reputation and use the Internet to your advantage and learn about relevant legal concepts like First Amendment, libel and privacy law that relate to your ability to protect your reputation. We'll have a panel of nationally recognized speakers as well as law firm marketing personnel (TBD) who will offer practical tips on guarding and promoting your reputation on line.
All the D.C. events this month are linked here, so look for Jan. 24 to register for this panel. (Many others do carry CLE credit.) The moderator is MyShingle's Carolyn Elefant, and her post on the "star studded panel" and event is here.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Tevye's Question, the Myth of the Horizontal Organization (Again), Interdisciplinary Work, and Rob Kar's Great Idea
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
Having just returned from the Midwestern Law and Economics Association conference, and having this morning read Rob Kar's great first post on PrawfsBlawg (what is he going to do for a follow up to that?), I was reminded again of the fundamental question Tevye the Dairyman, the protagonist of The Fiddler on the Roof, raised about interdisciplinary studies. Tevye, in advising his daughter about the problems of inter-marriage, says "a fish could marry a bird, but where would they live?"
The myth of horizontal organization is that you can keep a business organization dynamic and growing merely by agglomerating value-creating specialties. But if that's the case, it's like fish and birds, and who sees the places where neither of them live? Either everybody is responsible for the gaps between specialties (which means nobody is responsible) or nobody is responsible.
My talk at MLEA dealt in the broadest sense of trying to use algorithmic economic models to map linguistic or moral models. That is, can you draw legal policy conclusions by trying to cast what the parties mean in a contract into the equations of welfare economics so as to resolve disputes about contract interpretation in an economically efficient way? While I'd say about 40% of my time on this over the last couple weeks has been devoted to refining the point I was trying to make, the other 60% was devoted to what is essentially translation. My first attempts, thoughtfully critiqued by colleagues Eric Blumenson and Andy Perlman, were largely cast in terms of the jargon of philosophy of language and cognitive science, and I thought we made great strides in bringing the ideas to a common denominator of relatively plain English (albeit plain English with words I made up). Nevertheless, I have reason to believe I was not entirely successful (nor unsuccessful) in communicating with the audience.
On the flip side, there were portions of the conference - mostly those with complex equations - as to which I might as well as been have been listening to a talk in French. I would have understood enough of the syntax and the occasional words or English cognates to be able to say, with about this level of specificity: "they are talking, I think, about wine, and either about its price or the tannin levels."
Which brings me back to the subject of Rob Kar's post, about which I have great passion. He's responding to the response by Brian Leiter and Michael Weisberg to the recent convergence of law and evolutionary biology, which they criticized. Now, again, we have a translation issue, but I read the Leiter/Weisman critique as saying evolutionary biology has yet to show it is capable of shedding light on the "non-plasticity" of behaviors, such that they might be the subject of legal policy. I interpret non-plasticity as the behavior being fixed, or rigid, or hard-wired, or universal in a particular circumstance, as shown biologically, such that we might have confidence that the generalization in a legal rule is neither under-inclusive or over-inclusive. I think Rob agrees with that (as do I), but his broader point goes back to how fish and birds, or sub-specialties, might learn to talk to each other, much less live together.
The point is the myth of the horizontal organization. A new discipline that fits in between the cracks of the old ones needs to adopt its own rigorous standards, but they won't be the standards of any of the contributing disciplines. I particularly took to heart Rob's inclusion of the philosophy of science and an analogy to meta-ethical thinking in the mix of disciplines that might inform this venture. Particularly as to the latter, without a good dose of thinking about thinking, the project will never be more than the sum of its parts.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
As I mentioned this morning, I'm at the University of Minnesota Law School for the Midwestern Law and Economics Association Annual Conference. Myself excluded, the agenda includes an impressive group of speakers.
I spoke early today on Aboutness, Thingness, Models, and Understanding, and was not hit by a single tomato. Somebody did pick up on my introductory reference to Stephen Stills at Woodstock. He, of course, was ingesting recreational substances at the time; I was not.
The best thing about this has been the broad range of subjects, from financial services regulation to law school rankings to tissue transfer ("Gimme Some Skin: When Tissue Banks Compete for Transplant Tissue, Who Wins?" by Robert Katz of IU-Indianapolis, which is going on right now).
Speaking of Stephen Stills and Woodstock, we are just now moving into medical marijuana exemptions, so I'm signing off.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Posted by Alan Childress
Thanks to the generosity of Randy Lee (Widener) and Russ Pearce (Fordham), and many others who contribute to it, here is the recent quarterly newsletter of the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility. It contains all sorts of case and rules summaries, article cites, announcements of conferences and meetings, career opportunities and updates, and editorials...in short, a wealth of info helpful to anyone interested in the field, not just law profs. Retrieve it in PDF format here: Download profrespnewsletter_sum07.pdf
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The Conglomerate Junior Scholars Workshop continues, with a neat paper from Darian Ibrahim on angel investors and a series of responses from luminaries like Larry Ribstein, Barbara Black, George Dent, and David Hoffman.
For the uninitiated, angel investors are those brave souls who put the first significant money into a start-up enterprise. They overlap on the more developed end with venture capitalists, and on the less developed end with the holy triad known as "FFF:" friends, family, and fools.
Being the hedgehog I am (wandering, I think, in the instant classic Solum sense - how does he do it?) about the lawyers' impulse toward a certain kind of rationality, and underlying (and autopoietic - look that one up!) presumption that the impulse is correct, I supplied a lengthy comment to Christine Hurt's intro to the discussion.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
One of our favorite people, Andrea Schneider (Marquette, right) passes along the news that Marquette Law School will be holding its First Annual Dispute Resolution Works in Progress Conference on October 19-20, 2007. "The Conference is an opportunity for scholars from all over the country to meet others who are teaching and researching in dispute resolution. Join us and present your recent scholarship or works in progress, get feedback from colleagues, and learn about other research projects underway. Although we encourage you to share your current endeavors, you do not need to be a presenter to attend." More at the conference web page.
Monday, May 28, 2007
The 33rd annual ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility will take place in Chicago this week. Here is the link to the schedule. A number of panels will address topics of interest. One session will deal with overbearing partners; another wiill consider the ethics of lawyers in an organizational setting. There will also be a panel that will consider the ethical issues of lawyers who act as expert witnesses. A fourth panel will feature a retrospective on the famous New York "buried bodies" case with Frank H. Armani, one of the lawyers confronted with the ethical issue, Monroe Freedman and Thomas Morgan participating. (Mike Frisch)
Friday, April 6, 2007
The California State Bar is presenting an ethics symposium on May 19 at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Among the panel topics are ethics issues in family law practice, transactional practice and an update on proposed revisions to the California ethics rules. More here. (Mike Frisch)
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
The California bar website announces the 11th Annual Statewide Annual Ethics Symposium --- May 19, 2007,
Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles. "This year’s theme is 'Ethics Around the Edges' and will include sessions on transactional practice, Sarbanes-Oxley and other topics." MCLE credit is available. Call 415-538-2167. [Alan Childress]
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
David Giacalone, who previously posted at f/k/a this great post on the ethics of the demographic changes -- tidal wave -- just ahead with the bar (plus see ours here), since updated his post with a request for more discussion (and links). David is asking for CLE and symposium involvement in placing this subject on the agenda nationwide, and for LAPs to consider this reality. Also see his announcement below the fold. [Alan Childress]
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
I thought, particularly after taking the MPRE without too noticeable an increase in my heart rate, I was beyond getting too nervous about professional challenges any more. But this one may test my aerobic condition.
Larry Solum (Illinois) has organized an otherwise luminous round table for Saturday afternoon (2:30 pm), July 28, at the Law & Society Association's annual meeting at Humboldt University in Berlin, and somehow got confused and included me on it. The subject is "The New Formalism," and in addition to Larry, the participants will be Dennis Patterson (Rutgers-Camden), Randy Barnett (Georgetown), and Mariah Zeisberg (Michigan - Political Science, left). Here's the abstract of the planned discussion:
Formalist modalities of legal reasoning have recently come to the fore in a variety of contexts. In the theory of constitutional interpretation, the so-called “new originalism” or “original meaning originalism” has gained new prominence and transcended association with conservative judicial politics. In the theory of statutory interpretation, plain meaning or textualist approaches, once considered outre, are increasing dominant in both judicial practice and scholarly debates. Even in the realm of common-law judicial decision making, instrumentalist approaches are challenged by advocates of “strong stare decisis”. This roundtable will discuss the “new formalism,” from the a variety of perspectives, including jurisprudence, political theory, and the philosophy of language.
I will be making my first official appearance with "Suffolk Law School" on my badge. If my voice does not quaver too much, I will offer some thoughts on formalism and neo-formalism in contract law.
Posted by Alan Childress
This from the Legal Scholarship Network of SSRN, with submission info here below the fold:
CALL FOR PAPERS:
AN EVALUATION OF RECENT SECURITIES LAW REGULATORY REFORMS AND LITIGATION
AALS SECURITIES REGULATION SECTION MEETING--Jan. 2-6, 2008 in New York City
After the collapse of Enron, Adelphia,
Worldcom and other
high flyers of the 1990s, there was a crisis of confidence
in American business and securities regulators. Numerous
federal and state enforcement and regulatory actions
occurred in the wake of these scandals. These included: the
passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; the research
analyst prosecutions by the New York Attorney General and
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the reform of
the regulation of analysts; and prosecutions of mutual
funds and reform of mutual fund governance. A torrent of
criminal prosecutions and civil litigation under Rule 10b-5
and other securities law statutes also occurred.
Numerous law review articles have been written, explaining,
praising or criticizing these developments. Currently,
several high-powered decision makers have asserted that the
U.S. capital markets are becoming less competitive than
overseas markets due, in part, to the U.S. regulatory and
litigation environment. Further, there has been a push
back in the courts as to expansive interpretations by the
SEC of its authority and expansive district court opinions
regarding the reach of the anti-fraud provisions.
We are seeking papers for
the January 2008 meeting of the
AALS Securities Regulation Section in New York discussing
any aspect of these developments. A broad range of topics
is possible, and we hope to have a lively discussion on
whether regulatory and litigation developments have gone
too far, not far enough or have appropriately dealt with
the problems which led to the 1990s stock market bubble and
its collapse. A special issue of the Brooklyn Journal of
Corporate, Financial & Commercial Law will be devoted to
Sunday, March 4, 2007
Fordham Conference on International Arbitration & Mediation Offered June 18-19 in NYC By Stein Center on Ethics
The Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham will cosponsor its second annual conference on International Arbitration and Mediation, including substantial attention to ethics issues for both subjects. It will be held in New York City on June 18-19, 2007. CLE credit is also available. The conference director is Fordham Adjunct Professor Arthur Rovine. [Alan Childress]
Saturday, March 3, 2007
Stephanie West Allen of idealawg blog has this post, including helpful links and her comments, about ethical standards and practices in elder mediation -- and specifically a symposium on this emerging subject to be held by Temple's law school on April 19-20, 2007. [Alan Childress]
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Friday, February 9, 2007
Posted by Alan Childress
The National Critical Lawyers Group in the UK will hold its next conference, called "Human Rights and Human Wrongs," from Feb. 24-25, 2007, at the University of Kent in Canterbury. (Its last was in 2004, on Justice.) The CLG organization "brings together academics, practitioners, politicians and students in an explosive forum which is designed to extend the critical teaching that is fostered at Kent and remains the main alternative to 'Black Letter' legal education."
Updated information on the 2007 conference is linked here. Entrance is very affordable. In addition to broader topics of critical studies, reproductive rights, and human rights, the scheduled topics and speakers include (particularly as to this blog's theme):
Critical Legal Ethics: Kim Economides, Peter Fitzpatrick, and Emilios Christodoulidis
Law Society and Bar Reform: Richard de Friend and Khawar Qureshi
Law & Medical Ethics: Barbara Hewson, Kenny Veitch, and Mary Ford
Law Clinics: Catherine Carpenter and John Fitzpatrick, plus law students at Strathclyde and Northumbria
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
ABA's National Conference on Professional Responsibility and Client Protection: Chicago May 30-June 2
Link here to the ABA conference, which is touted thusly: "The American Bar Association National Conference on Professional Responsibility is the preeminent educational and networking opportunity in the field of ethics and professional responsibility." It is held along with the annual forum on client protection. This year's conference is in Chicago from May 30-June 2, 2007, at the Fairmont Hotel. More schedule and speaker information here. Up to 15 CLE credits may also be available. [Alan Childress]